Published: Wed, January 25, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Southern California Gas urges customers to cut natural gas use

Southern California Gas urges customers to cut natural gas use

The facility in Aliso Canyon, located in the mountains above Porter Ranch, is owned by Southern California Gas Co.

The company is proceeding with caution following their November 29, 2016 plea deal with the Santa Clarita District Attorney's office over the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, which would hold them under criminal charges if they ignore another gas leak.

California agencies said in a study looking at the Aliso Canyon outage that SoCalGas could have a tough time meeting a forecast peak gas demand of 5.2 billion cubic feet (bcf) on the coldest days this winter without fuel from the facility. SoCalGas and SDG&E are now meeting system demands utilizing storage withdrawal and flowing supplies.

Schwecke did not say how much natural gas was withdrawn Tuesday from the Aliso Canyon field and said that information would be released once the utility had notified the CPUC by Wednesday morning.

"SoCalGas will continue to monitor weather regionally and nationally and its potential impact on system conditions, including any need for additional withdrawals from Aliso to maintain the reliability of natural gas and electricity services", according to the utility. The leak was stopped in February 2016.

The Advisory will be in effect beginning at 7am Monday and remain in effect until further notice.

Besides the voluntary advisory for all customers, SoCalGas also issued a system-wide "curtailment watch" that started Monday for their large commercial and industrial customers, including power plants in the L.A. Basin, advising them that they may be required to curb natural gas use in the future due to strains on the system.

SB 146 would also change the deadline for the state Public Utilities Commission to open proceedings about the possibility of minimizing or eliminating the use of Aliso Canyon from July 1 to December 31, 2017.

The utility's gas supply deliveries will be 30 percent lower than demand by Thursday this week. "We are prepared to fight to keep the storage facility closed and ensure it is decommissioned", said F&WW's Alexandra Nagy, a senior organizer. (SoCalGas) announced the advisory on Sunday.

Earlier this month, regulators proposed to "significantly limit" volumes of gas that could be stored in the now shuttered underground storage area, which is in a former producing oilfield.

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